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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 1:52 pm 
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Just check the mattress has its plug in the box when you buy it, and not do as we did ... arrived at Punda minus the plug We tried all sorts - a champagne cork worked the best, with presstik around it ...but it shrunk during the night as it dried out

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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 2:00 pm 
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quote="DinkyBird"...but it shrunk during the night as it dried out

That is why we do not use a double mattress - if one springs a leak, at least the other person is comfortable.

Actually we always have a spare mattress plus repair kit in our camping kit. (Belt and braces

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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Thanks to both of you

I'll bring a warm hat. I have a great one i've never been able to use before! It's pretty funny looking because it's from my time working at an orphange. It was knitted by ladies in America who thought it would be the sort of thing African orphans want, not knowing our kids will NOT wear anything that doesn't have Hannah Montana on it. Anyway... I love my geeky wooly hat and can't wait to try it out.

Also, does the inflatable mattress keep you warm because you're higher off the ground? I'm looking at those expensive self-inflating ones, but the cheaper ones are thicker. Cape Union Mart has some basic inflatable mattresses for R160.

I'd really only be getting a mattress if it was going to keep me warm. I'm used to sleeping on hard floors with nothing more than a blanket, so comfort isn't a big issue...

DinkyBird: Oh no! That's exactly the sort of thing that would happen to me...


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Good idea for Nossob, Moose! We'll have yellow ribbon on white Prado but are not camping that night - will be in one of the chalets. Will keep a look out for you. Regarding the corrugated cardboard - if you're keen on this idea and can't get hold of any, we can check if there's still stock here and bring you a piece about 2m long (or more if you need) - rolls up quite small - and we'll ask the nice people at TR reception if we can leave it there for you to collect on the following day.

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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Hey Moose, just got back from a great trip to the park. Had 16 nights there half of which we camped. Some info:
The nights got pretty chilly 0.5 degrees in Nossob but the days were warm. Do the newspaper thing. We did and it works!
The campsites were pretty full when we were there, but at Nossob there is definitley more space. There are 5 sites closest to the road which do not have power and are really great as you can face straight onto the fence with all the camping going ons behind you. Also because they don't have power they are not AS popular.
Mata Mata is smaller and we had people right next to us. The construction going on there at the moment did not hassle us at all.
As far as the level of the grass is concerned you will need to sit on your pillow while driving. It is high especially in Nossob. Down near TR it is like a carpet though as you went further north it got longer.
You will have a ball, we did . We saw loads of the usual, some cats and some special sightings as well.

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See our trip reports:

Christmas Trees in the Kalahari May 2012

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=62684

and

Kalahari Reflections March 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:24 pm 
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GavinW: Thanks for the great advice! You gave me everything I needed to hear. I stayed in one of those sites in Nossob in December and I loved it.

I'm definitely going to do newspaper and cardboard, rather than buying an expensive mattress.

Your advice about sitting on a pillow- fantastic! I never would have thought of that! I will most definitely be sitting on my pillow

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:01 pm 
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Okay Moose ..you must now pack 2 hot water bottles not one!!!! I always have 2 hot water bottles.(and a SO) Wrap PJ bottoms in one and PJ top in the other . Providing you do not waste too much time jumping into to bed you will be as snug as a bug in a rug in no time..it works. The problem comes getting out of bed in the morning..that is when the cold really hits you !!!!!

Okay Gavinw..you are on ignore until you tell us about these special sightngs


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Hi Moose

We also got back from the park recently. We stayed at various camps but camped at Twee Rivieren and Mata Mata. As per Gavinw and Dinkybird replies, the night are getting really cold. The days were still hot. Most days were in the upper 20'ies and lower 30'ies.

The park was very full especially the camping sites. We found Twee Rivieren quite crowded but Mata Mata was fine. You will have to time your trip to the ablutions at Mata Mata to avoid the rush.

We found the viewing around Nossob and especially in places north of nossob fustrating at times. We were in a 4X4 and often struggled to see over the left or right sides as a result of the depth of the road from grading and also the height of grass. We seemed to have better sightings along the Auob River. However our friends that joined us on our KTP trip might disagree. After exiting the Gharagab trail, we went to Lijiersdraai picnic site to remove grass from the radiator. They went to the water hole and had a once in a lifetime experience with a leopard. Its all about being at the right place at the right time.

We also found the corrugations on the road seemed better along the Mata mata road. I suppose it depends on when the roads are flattened or graded.

While we were at Mata mata the road was graded but it was back to normal (ie. heavy corrugations) within 2 days.

All in all we still had very good sightings and had a fantastic time. I'm sure you will have the same or better.

Enjoy.

Regards

A & C

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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 11:27 am 
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Thanks for the detailed update, A & C. You've got me a little worried about the grass heights, but also super-excited that i'll be there in just over a week!

Would anyone recommend switching one night in Nossob for one night in MM?


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 11:59 am 
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Hi Moose,
Suggest you take Caracals advice about the cold - thats one person who hates the cold.
Just returned from 18 day KTP trip. All the present park conditions have been summed well by others who have just returned.
Glad you are not going the inflatable mattress route. Its a hassle and the air inside gets soooo cold. We've finally dispensed with ours. We use a thin high dens. foam mattress and insert it inside 2 sleeping bags zipped together and then sleep under thick duvet. We are a metre or so off the ground which does help.
The cardboard and newspaper is good advice. Be extra alert when doing shopping in Upington. I had a camera stolen from my vehicle. Granted it was partly my own fault but they do target tourists.
Enjoy the Kalahari experience!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Thanks Tony T! I appreciate that

I'm sorry about your camera- that really sucks The only place i've ever stopped in Upington is the Engen 1-Stop, and it'll be the same on this trip. And i'm only ever there at about 4am. I'll be buying supplies in CT and then leaving here about 8pm.

I think my 'warmth strategy' will be: newpapers on the bottom, cardboard on top, then a fuzzy blanket, then my goose down duvet, then sleeping bag (with thermal liner) on top. Going to wear thermals and maybe a jacket to sleep. ANd hot water bottles of course...

Just one week before I set off!


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 5:22 pm 
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And Moose - don't forget your beanie

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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Billyf: The beanie is packed! Is it sad that i'm really, really excited about getting to wear it? It really is a hideous hat- a mess of green, purple and yellow wool...

Oh, I forgot to ask about water!

I've decided not to bring huge amounts of water into the park. Last time I was there, in December, staff told me that the Auchterlonie bathroom water was the best in the park, and I drank that for two days after I ran out of water.

Being borehole water (and I know nothing about borehole water), does it change with seasons? If it was fine in December, will it be fine now? I'm just relectant to pay R16 or so rand for 1.5l of water, and my car is so small that bringing in water for 2 people for 10 days is going to be annoying...


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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Location: In the heart of the Waterberg; Deep in Limpopo
Hi Moose!
Now that you've planned your warmth - don't forget to check the anti freeze in your car's radiator - it may get to the minus side of zero at night.......
Drive safely!

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 Post subject: Re: Current conditions in KTP?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Hi Moose,
Rule of thumb is that the higher the rainfall, the less brackish the water; and KTP has had a lot of rain.
This visit we found the Twee Riv. water OK and Mata Mata just OK, as borehole water goes. We always take drinking water to Nossob so we did'nt test it this time.
By the way wonder of wonders Upington police phoned me today with news that they found my camera -thief tried to pawn it; though all my photo's taken in the park have been deleted. (Won't say more - don't want to hijack your thread!)


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